Sweden’s Enqvist defeats Roddick in Memphis
LONDON: Sweden’s Thomas Enqvist ousted top seed Andy Roddick 7-6 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Kroger St Jude tournament in Memphis on Friday night.
Roddick, who woke in the morning suffering from back spasms, received treatment throughout the day before taking to the court.
Enqvist will now meet German Nicolas Kiefer for a place in Sunday’s final of the $690,000 indoor event.
Earlier in the day, Enqvist’s fellow Swede Joachim Johansson reached his first ATP semi-final, where he will face second seed Mardy Fish, who was taken to three sets by Dmitry Tursunov in his quarter-final. “I played great,” Enqvist said after his surprise win. “Obviously I knew before that if I have any chance that I would have to play my best and I played really well. Things went my way. “I took some chances and that first set could have gone either way, but at least I put myself in with a chance of winning and I felt I was playing really good. I’m very satisfied not only with the win but with the way I played.”
The 29-year-old, ranked 80th in the world, saved a set point in the first set tiebreak and broke Roddick’s serve to lead 3-1 in the second before clinching victory on his fifth match point. “I woke up with a little case of back spasms this morning,” Roddick said. “I had some chiropractic work done and I felt like I was ready to go.
“I definitely didn’t want to let the fans down out there. I don’t think it would have made any difference if I was healthy.
“He played really well. This afternoon I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to play or not. Then I kept working on it, warmed up for a little bit and just tried as best I could.”
The 21-year-old, who was attempting to win his third consecutive Memphis final having won the title in 2002 and losing to Taylor Dent in the championship match last year, won the Siebel Open in San Jose a week ago. But despite serving 17 aces, he failed to convert any of his three break points in the match and eventually succumbed to the Swede in 78 minutes. Enqvist is now just two matches away from claiming his 20th ATP career title and his first since Marseille in 2002. The Swede, who reached a career-high number four in 1999 but slipped to 95 at the end of 2003, has won 11 of his 19 titles indoors. He is playing in his first semi-final since Stockholm at the end of last year. —Reuters